fbpx

Resources: Productivity

Technology

Technology – Out with the Old, In with the New

For your business to grow and develop, there is one thing that absolutely must happen, and that is change. If things remain the same, there will be no growth. A business needs to be dynamic to evolve and continue the path toward long-term success. Technology is the key to such growth.

Depending on the nature of the change, it can come with a lot of excitement, hope, anticipation, or perhaps worry and dread. In any case, a business change brings several challenges, especially now when we are still amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken the world hostage.

Let’s look at some of the more challenging changes that businesses are going through two years after the onset of the pandemic.

Expanding to a New Location

Setting up a brand-new branch of your business in a new location is a sign of progress. It can dramatically increase your customer base, improve sales, and bring in more revenue. But the process is not always smooth sailing. Finding local sources for the supplies you need is one of the first tasks you should accomplish. This task includes everything from construction materials for your new buildings to all the merchandise and raw materials you need to run your business.

Being in a new location, it is likely that you are not yet familiar with the surrounding businesses. It might take time and effort to scour the area for the best materials. Also, the pandemic has made procurement much more challenging, with more stringent requirements along the way. But if you work with a reliable MSP, we can help you with these tasks, and you can focus on the other core tasks in expanding your business.

Remote Workforce

During the onset of the pandemic, many businesses had to downsize or undergo a reshuffling of employees to stay afloat. Now that industries are slowly getting back to normal, many companies are fine-tuning their technology needs. Saving money by downsizing office space has helped many businesses stay open.

With a competent IT provider, employees can access everything they need, regardless of where they are.

Replacing Outdated Technology

As technology advances, businesses should regularly upgrade their hardware and software. This step will keep them ahead of their competitors. But business equipment can be expensive. Therefore, many business owners might choose to keep using their outdated machinery instead of purchasing the newer models. But what most do not realize is that this attempt to cut expenses will lead to reduced business productivity and lower profits, ultimately becoming more costly in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Change is necessary if you want your business to grow. During these transitions, you’ll need to have a trusty IT provider who can make the process easier, more efficient, and less disruptive to the overall flow of your business. We might just be the partner you need to help your business grow and succeed!

We’re well aware that businesses have many expenses. We also understand that expenses can sometimes be tricky to track and forgotten. You may be forgetting about the hidden expenses. That’s why we have built a Business Excessive Spending Calculator for you so that you can see exactly where those hidden costs may be. If you want to go a step further, hit submit once you are done calculating because we may be able to help alleviate some of those hidden costs. Download your free calculator here.

Use Technology For Onboarding and Offboarding

Technology plays a crucial role in the smooth operation of your business, regardless of the industry you are in. Even the most old-fashioned business owners have accepted that they need to utilize technological innovations to keep up with the competition and deliver the best service to their clients.

Indeed, technology contributes to almost all aspects of operating a business. However, to this day, many companies are still not maximizing the benefits that automation can give, particularly in the onboarding and offboarding process.

How Technology Helps with Recruitment and Offboarding

It is common for employees to come and go in any job position. A smooth offboarding process makes it possible to part ways amicably. In addition, you must have a quick onboarding process for new hires. This process ensures continued productivity and minimizes disruption of the overall workflow. Technology can do wonders to expedite both of these processes and make the adjustments easier.

The Onboarding Process

Before starting their new job, new hires typically spend a lot of time filling out HR documents, getting to know their coworkers, and training for their new role. These are all essential parts of the onboarding process. Technology makes these processes much more efficient.

Paperless Forms

Many companies today still require new hires to come in before their official first day of work to fill out piles of HR forms, many of which are highly repetitive. This antiquated step is quite surprising when you think of how easy it can be to put these forms online and have the new hires fill them out at their convenience. They can do it on their computers or mobile devices, and the auto-fill feature will also let them finish much faster.

Digital Introductions

In between starting a new job and adjusting to a new work environment, a new employee already has more than enough to handle for the first day at work. Introductions are part of the process, but you can’t expect a new hire to remember all the names and faces of their co-workers in just one go. Most companies now prefer digital introductions.

Instead of everyone accosting a new employee by saying hi and introducing themselves personally, they can record a short video introduction instead. The new employee can watch these videos before their first day to get an idea of who they will be working with.

Online Technology Training

Online training has many advantages over traditional classroom training for new employees and employers. Each trainee has a unique learning curve, so putting them all together in one group won’t give them the most out of the training. While some may want to move more quickly, others may choose to review the previous topics before moving on.

Online training allows everyone to learn at their own pace and style. This choice is why it is recommended that employers use technology to their advantage. To give new hires the best experience of this part of the onboarding process.

The Offboarding Process

In order to prevent any disruptions to the business or workflow, it is necessary to adhere strictly to established protocols. When an employee leaves their position due to death, resignation, or other cause.

Manual Offboarding

Many companies handle offboarding manually, like by sending emails and making phone calls. But in some cases, this can be risky if the organization is not very strict in implementing policies. Many people who feel they were unfairly terminated might still have access to company accounts or confidential information for criminal purposes.

Offboarding Checklist

The only way to circumvent all these problems is by being extremely thorough in your procedure. There is a long list of things to take care of when an employee leaves, and you must check your list carefully. All of the company’s property, such as laptops and cell phones must be returned. The former employee should no longer receive wages after their last day at work!

Automated Offboarding

Manual offboarding jobs can be overlooked. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that if you opt for a fully automated offboarding process. Automating the process will ensure accuracy and consistency. It will also help with compliance and all the legal requirements you must meet.

Enjoy Fully Automated Onboarding and Offboarding with the Right IT Service Provider also known as Managed Service Providers.

For those who want to reap the benefits of an automated onboarding and offboarding process. Your Managed Service Provider can take care of it.

On the other hand, if you already have an IT team handling the process. But you are not sure if they are doing a good enough job, you can recommend these 7 questions for audit. Find out once and for all if you are getting what you are paying for. Or if you are getting nickel and dimed. If you need to change your IT Provider, let us know! We will efficiently handle your onboarding and offboarding, as well as any other business process you need!

AI (Artificial Intelligence): Where It’s Going?

Artificial intelligence for most people today began with some very fantastical notions of computers taking over the world, largely due to the depiction of AI in motion pictures of decades past. Yet many of us have not realized that this innovative technology is already in use. Many are, in fact, already part of many aspects of our day-to-day lives. For small and medium business owners, there are now several AI SMB automated business processes that are used to expedite and ensure the growth and success of the business, which we will discuss further in this article.

A Brief History of AI

It’s not clear when or where the concept of artificial intelligence first began. Research started in 1956 in Dartmouth College, where millions of dollars funded what would turn out to be costly dead ends due to the unforeseen complexities of the project. AI research and development went on a rollercoaster ride after that, with investors alternately getting excited and then losing interest because of the lack of progress. 

It was after the turn of the century that AI began to see real-world usage. Not just in academics, but also in practical applications. New technology has enabled the integration of AI in research, education, as well as industry. Areas such as e-commerce, gaming, automobiles, healthcare, even agriculture.

AI as a Crucial Element in Businesses of Tomorrow

As of today, artificial intelligence has already permeated several of the crucial processes that are part of the regular management of any kind of business in the form of AI SMB automated business processes, procedures, and functions. It has made possible countless forms of advancement in the areas of online selling, inventory, and cybersecurity. All of these are vital to the successful operation of any business. 

Many AI SMB automated business processes are generic and apply to many businesses across different industries. Some examples of these are order processing, purchasing, quality assurance, and billing. Some are more industry-specific, like medical assessment or drug approval for the healthcare industry or trip booking and agent billing for the travel industry. 

Common Automation Processes for Small and Medium Businesses

Let’s look at some simple and useful automation processes that can increase productivity and improve revenue for your small or medium business.

Email Auto-Responder

When a customer reaches out to your business and receives no reply for months, it can be very frustrating and could give them an unpleasant impression of your business. An auto-responder feature with a personal touch prevents this. The automation process can also direct the email to your sales team, letting them take over as soon as possible. 

Marketing Automation

Many Customer Relationship Management or CRM systems include a marketing automation feature that allows you to execute an email campaign to all relevant contacts and turn them into actionable sales leads for your business. 

Scheduling Software 

This type of business automation eliminates a lot of wasted time when booking appointments. The system will automatically schedule your meetings and let everyone involved know by updating the calendar.

Chat Bots

A chatbot is a perfect tool for providing your clients with answers when customers have questions for you. Setting up a chatbot might require some time and effort. But once completed, AI will take over, and the process will be fully automated.

Keep up with the Latest AI Features with MSP Services

We are continuing to move towards a future where AI SM automated business processes are a part of daily life. Incorporate the latest Artificial Intelligence features that will help you grow your business. Contact us now and upgrade your system before the New Year begins!

hybrid workforce

A Second Look at your Hybrid Workforce

In the last two years, companies worldwide have transitioned from a traditional office setup towards a hybrid workforce model as a part of a solution to the pandemic situation. While many employees are going back to the office, physical capacity in the workplace is still limited, and many companies need to make adjustments to accommodate everyone. Many businesses are finding that using a hybrid workforce is a solid long-term solution.

Connecting Everyone through Teams

In a hybrid workforce environment, employees get divided into teams where some complete work at the office while others do their job from remote locations, usually from their homes. It lets work get completed while allowing social distancing. 

The challenge for management is unifying their team and getting them to work as a unit, despite having employees working in separate physical locations. This setup is where a hybrid solution comes in. A working system comes with tools like stable network infrastructure and reliable and organized features that boost productivity. And, at the same time, the tools allow employees to coordinate seamlessly with other team members in the company for a consistent and coherent workflow. 

Benefits of the Hybrid Workforce System

The main objective of a hybrid system is to create balanced work productivity and to maintain consistent team effort regardless of the location of the workers. Besides the obvious benefit of allowing companies to continue operating in the face of the pandemic, a hybrid workforce also provides multiple benefits to both the employer and the employees. In fact, because of these benefits, many employers have decided to utilize the hybrid system as part of their permanent work setup.

Reduced Physical and Emotional Anxiety 

While it has been going on for almost two years, the pandemic is still far from over. Many people are still hesitant to take public transport. Also, risk exposure in a public WIFI work environment for several hours at a time. With a hybrid system, anxiety from these issues is eliminated for everyone.

More Economical 

For the employer, a hybrid setup will dramatically reduce expenses with rental space or office maintenance. This will help free up funds for other aspects of the business. For the employee, there will no longer be a need for a daily commute. The cost will also reduce, helping you control the budget.

More Access to Resources

In a hybrid setup, employers can also hire international talents and not just local ones. Employers can easily employ services from workers from any part of the world. With the wide availability of online IT management services, it is easy to keep your technology ahead of the competition.

Taking a Cue from Microsoft’s Approach in Hybrid Workforce 

Migrating any business into a hybrid workforce environment is a lot of work. The process is not overnight. Microsoft came up with an approach that we could follow and developed powerful tools that we could all use to navigate the challenges of the transition.

If you have not yet taken any steps to shift to a hybrid system, now is the perfect time to go through Microsoft’s Hybrid Work: A Guide for Business Leaders. You’ll learn more about the need to make the transition. How it can benefit your company and your employees, and how to make the shift successfully. 

Microsoft Teams Rooms is one of the many innovative tools Microsoft has developed to support hybrid workforce environments. It will connect remote workers in the office using tools that are powerful, flexible, secure, and easy to use. If you do not use the Microsoft Suite, you can always use ZOOM or similar programs.

Up Your Hybrid Workforce Game with our Help

Working with an MSP is the most efficient way to achieve the highest productivity out of your new hybrid workforce. We can provide you with all technical advice and security as you shift your business to online usage. We use state-of-the-art tools to keep you ahead of the competition. Also do all kinds of assistance in terms of hardware, software, data storage, and online support. Contact us today to learn how to flawlessly integrate your existing work setup into an efficient hybrid workforce system. 

Section 179 tax law

It’s time to use Section 179 tax law Deductions

Time is running out to use the tax deductions available to you with the Section 179 tax law. You have until December 31st if you want to use those deductions this year.

Many small business owners look for ways to maximize deductions to minimize how much tax they pay – and for a good reason. One thing that not everyone knows about that could help is the tax code Section 179. If you’re unaware of what Section 179 is, this post will help you. We’ll explain everything you need to know about tax 179 deductions and how you can take advantage of it using your MSP, and we’ll even have a short quiz at the end!

Section 179 – the basics for SMB Tax deduction

This law applies to deductions for property depreciation. It doesn’t increase how much you can deduct overall, but it does give smaller businesses the option to act more quickly. The use of assets by some businesses can last up to 39 years. Section 179 means that a company can declare the deduction of this asset in one year alone instead of spreading over a longer time. Let’s say, for example, that Urgent Care buys a new $4000 television. Based on a TV’s life of 10 years, straight depreciation would allow the business to deduct a percentage every year for ten years. With Section 179, the entire amount is deductible the first year.

How is this useful to small and newer businesses?

When you set up a new business, you have a lot more going out than you do coming in, and there are a lot of assets that need to be purchased. Section 179 tax law means that new business owners can take advantage of deducting their purchases straight away. Smaller but established businesses can also take advantage of buying new assets to help grow their company. Buying things upfront is costly, so with Section 179 tax law this outgoing is less burdensome. In addition, you don’t have to wait many years to benefit from tax deductions when you purchase assets. 

What assets qualify for Section 179 tax law?

You can claim tax deductions for assets that will last over one year (as determined by the IRS). This list includes:

  • Office furniture
  • Machinery
  • Business equipment
  • Business vehicles
  • Software
  • Computers 

Tax 179 Write-off MSP – How can they help?

An MSP can help you maximize your tax savings from Section 179 tax law. In addition, they will be able to guide you through the options for your hardware and software needs. Finally, they can help forecast your business’s future needs in terms of technology, including finance or lease services, equipment, and purchases.

So, are you eligible? Answer the questions below to see if your business qualifies for a Section 179 Tax Law deduction.

  1. Is the asset tangible? (i.e., physical property like computer software, equipment, furniture)
  2. Have you purchased the asset, or is it on finance? (not leased)
  3. Is the asset used more than 50% for your business?
  4. Have you started using the asset?

If you answered ‘yes’ to the four questions, your business might be eligible to claim the deduction. You will need to complete Form 4562 (part 1) and describe the property, how much it costs, and how much of Section 179 tax law you’re claiming. 

Finally, you cannot claim Section 179 tax law if you acquired the asset from someone related to you, including businesses, charitable organizations, and trusts with which you have a relationship.

If you have any questions about this deduction or anything else, remember that you can contact us anytime. We’re here to help!